Users have mixed reactions to SNIA storage credentials

On the whole, users think the Storage Networking Industry Association's new set of storage certifications are must-have credentials, but some are soured on the certification process.

The Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is set to officially announce a new set of vendor independent certification exams for end users this Friday. When SearchStorage.com reported the SNIA's new educational program, we asked users if they would pursue the vendor-neutral industry exams.

The response so far has been positive, but there are a few dissenters.

Mark Whitehouse, a technical architect for a pharmaceutical company called AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, has taken the SNIA exams and swears by them.

"I believe they are invaluable. The training for certification gives a brilliant understanding of how SANs work, how they should be designed for performance and reliability and what problems can occur," he said.

Whitehouse said he is now able to assess designs from most of the major storage vendors and find errors.

But not everyone is convinced that certifications are worth the effort. One user who works as a network administrator for the U.S. military and wished to remain anonymous said there are so many "certification mills" in place that he doesn't trust the paper that certifications are written on. "When I look to hire a network tech, I look to see if [they] have any certifications, but primarily I look for true hands-on network experience. I will hire an uncertified tech with a solid background over a paper-certified tech every time," he said.

"The 'let's get you' certified industry -- a cottage industry -- has in my opinion ruined the legitimacy of certifications. I really don't have time to bother proving to anyone I know how to do my job. If my network is up and hasn't been knocked out routinely by a virus or security breach, guess what, I know what I'm doing and that is better proof than any certification you could give me," the user said.

Amazingly, at least one European IT training provider, Solution Technology, is already offering a series of tests to find out "whether you are prepared for a SNIA certification."

According to Jilly James, operations manager for Solution Technology, his firm is offering a new service called STATS, the Storage Technology Advanced Test Service. "This service is already being used by candidates seeking to obtain the SNIA professional storage certification accreditation," said James.

Rather than focusing on a single technology, the new tests are said to cover storage networking concepts, standards, solutions and products at a cost of $200 per exam. Users will now be able to become certified as a SNIA Certified Systems Engineer, SNIA Certified Architect or SNIA Certified Storage Networking Expert. The SNIA will also require annual refresher exams to ensure that end users stay up to date.

For more information:

SNIA targets knowledge gap

Vendor-neutral storage networking certification from SNIA

Dig deeper on SAN management

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